Federico Makabenta (yenm@iconn.com.ph)
Sun, 30 Jan 2000 07:38:33 +0800


Lots of replies here... (Egan, Richard and -Z-)

I'm confused as most of you were arguing on different points and are not
seeing eye to eye on this issue over a simple definition.

Egan Loo clearly identified the Japanese use of the term "mecha".

> To Japanese speakers, "mecha" is anything mechanical, period. It does not
> mean advanced combat humanoid vehicles only. It can be advanced or
> primitive, combat or civilian, humanoid or non-humanoid, and Japanese or
> otherwise. Laputa's flaptors, Mach Go! Go! Go!/Speed Racer's Mach 5,
> Yamato/Star Blazers' Yamato -- they're *all* considered mecha.

OK - since that's settled. I do think we mean "Real Robot" when we speak
about our use of mecha...

> Perhaps the word you are looking for is "Real Robot" -- that's the word
> Japanese speakers use to contrast with Super Robot subgenre. In that case,
> most people consider Gundam to be the turning point between Super Robot
> Real Robot subgenres in Japan. Some people think the first Gundam is the
> first Real Robot series in Japan while other people think that the first
> Gundam still straddles both the Super Robot and Real Robot subgenres, but
> nevertheless most people agree that it kickstarted the Real Robot subgenre
> that followed.

Can we start from here?

I mean when we use the word "mecha" could we use it as if the Japs meant it
to be "Real Robot". I think that our general usage of the word is about the

Ok on to more... from Richard

> However in the sense on this thread, mechawould only seem to cover
> shows, with more dramatic themes. While acceptible, it does diverge from
> the traditional deffinition. Or so my buddy in Japan told me. For the sake
> of arguement, Tomino made more adult oriented realistic mecha shows, and
> created a genre.

What about Nadesico? It does have drama but doesn't even come close to being
realistic - at least from the character interactions perspective, which are
more for comedy purposes and "unrealistic". I think some of it could be said
about ZZ Gundam - since I heard that the characters also interacted that
way - but I've never seen it... -_-; (and here I call myself a Gundam

Also, did Tomino really intend for Gundam to be geared towards adults? I'm
curious as to why he would do this...

To Z - your format and formula example is something I'd use from hereon in.
Really enlightening...

I do agree to some point with Z's pointing out Nagai's Mazinger saga as a
possible drive towards the "mecha" or "Real Robot" genre. I for one really
think a big breakthrough came with the arrival of his "Kohai" or macho
heroes. It introduced a bit of grit to the robot genre. I enjoyed watching
Koji Kabuto kick serious ass as a kid - but honestly, I wish Aphrodite A and
her launching boobs should just have been taken out completely... -_-;


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